Politics

PTI Leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi Arrested in Connection with May 9 Riots Despite Recent Bail Approval

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, was taken into custody by Rawalpindi police from Adiala Jail on Wednesday in connection with a case related to violent protests that erupted on May 9. This arrest came just a day after Qureshi's release under the maintenance of public order (3-MPO), following the approval of his bail in a cipher case the previous week.

Addressing the media outside the prison, Qureshi vehemently denied any wrongdoing, labeling the case against him as politically motivated and baseless. He declared his innocence and expressed frustration at what he perceived as a violation of the Supreme Court's order, claiming, "Oppression, injustice. This is a mockery of the Supreme Court’s order. I am being subjected to political victimization without any reason."

The arrest is reportedly linked to the May 9 riots that ensued following the arrest of PTI founder Imran Khan in a corruption case from the premises of the Islamabad High Court earlier this year. Qureshi, who served as the foreign minister during the previous PTI-led government, has been embroiled in legal troubles since then.

Sources indicate that Qureshi was apprehended in connection with a GHQ attack case and is slated to appear before an anti-terrorism court (ATC). The Rawalpindi police took this action after the deputy commissioner of Rawalpindi revoked the 3-MPO detention order issued just a day earlier.

The detention order, issued by Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi Hasan Waqar Cheema, implicated Qureshi in anti-state activities and causing damage to public and private property during the May 9 protests. The order expressed concerns that Qureshi, upon release, might engage in activities leading to a law and order situation harmful to the general public.

According to the Rawalpindi police statement, Qureshi's bail in the cipher case did not exempt him from facing interrogation regarding his alleged involvement in the May 9 violent protests. Despite being granted bail, a 15-day detention order was issued against him, citing the potential for him to continue engaging in unlawful activities.

This latest development adds to Qureshi's already complex legal situation. He was previously booked in a cipher case under the Official Secrets Act in August of the current year. The case alleges that Qureshi, along with ex-PM Imran Khan, leaked the contents of diplomatic cipher during a public gathering.

Notably, Qureshi has faced multiple arrests since May, following the alleged involvement of PTI protesters and supporters in vandalizing state properties, including military installations. As the political landscape remains charged,

Qureshi finds himself entangled in legal battles that continue to unfold amidst the broader context of political turmoil in Pakistan.

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